How Do I Become A Criminal Psychologist?

A criminal psychologist does important work in resolving crime matters. Law enforcement may hire criminal psychologists to help them figure out which criminal played a main role in a crime. One of the main jobs of a criminal psychologist is also to analyze the actions that a criminal may have taken in completing a crime. A criminal psychologist seeks to understand the reasons that motivate a criminal’s behavior. Criminal psychologists may work for law enforcement, or they may work for a university research center. They may also work on an independent basis and be hired by a victim’s family. Maybe you have wondered, “How do I become a criminal psychologist?” When you want to become a criminal psychologist, it is important for you to have a strong passion for analyzing the facts of crimes.

What’s it like to be a criminal psychologist?

Criminal psychologists tend to study geographic areas to understand the reasons crimes tend to perpetuate in those areas. A criminal psychologist may find that poverty plays a major role in perpetuating drug crimes in an area. A judge may also request that a criminal psychologist provide testimony in court. Lawyers often depend on criminal psychologists to provide testimony that can be supportive of a prosecution’s side of the case. Criminal psychologists may also need to work with FBI officials to make suggestions about questions that should be asked during the interrogation process. You may also have to work with sophisticated software programs to analyze the ways in which certain crimes have occurred.

Education Requirements

To become a criminal psychologist, one should obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal psychology. One should look for programs that specialize in this field of study. Not ever college offers degree programs in criminal psychology. If a college does not offer this program, then you may want to study criminal justice or criminology. You can also obtain a master’s degree in criminal psychology and obtain better career opportunities as a result. You should be mentally prepared to pursue this type of career. You will need to go to mentally disturbing crime scenes as part of your regular job. You may need to pass a state certification exam, so you should research this requirement too.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a criminal psychologist is about $50,000. The salary of a criminal psychologist can vary from $33,000 to $100,000. To get a job as a criminal psychologist, you should seek to work for a law enforcement agency. When you work for a law enforcement agency, you will be able to have other opportunities to further your career. You will be able to work as an expert witness and can receive additional compensation for this type of activity. You may want to work for a university so that you can have research opportunities. You can also have the opportunity to teach when you are a criminal psychologist and conduct research at the university level.